The Production of The Prostitution of Time
Weeks in conception, more weeks gathering assets and then the long intense days of construction.
The heads arrive
We had been looking for mannequin parts to make a piece with for some months, we were very excited when we won a box of ex-hairdresser heads at an auction. Playing around with the heads we developed the concept of a clock with the heads designating the hours. We started jamming on time and realised how enslaved we are by it and how this enslavement is linked to money. Money, time and their connection to art became the themes and we came up with the name "The prostitution of time" and made new characters out of the heads to represent the time prostitutes. Is time art or artifice?
There were a number of construction dilemmas to solve, we needed to find a solid round top at least 110cm in diameter, we
found a second-hand tabletop 90cm in diameter and decided we could pike the heads and radiate them like spokes. How to secure all the different materials to each other, how to hang it, we needed to make it strong and solid and suitable for packing and travel, we had an unusual list when we went to the hardware store. It is interesting how solving construction problems can change the art, it is an integral part of the artistic process when making sculpture for exhibition sometimes conceptual sacrifices need to be made, sometimes new ones are formed. In this case, solving construction problems improved and strengthened our concept.
Finding the arms
Finding the arms for the hands of the clock was the most difficult part, second-hand mannequins are in high demand and hold their price, no-one it seemed had any left-over arms. We were still looking for arms two days before construction was due to start, without the arms our whole concept would have not worked. Finally through a recommendation from a recommendation we found someone in another state, who had two - one black and one white, perfect! They arrived by courier the afternoon before we started. They look great, but took hours to drill holes through, so we could attach them to the clock face, the fibreglass was re-inforced with metal and they housed a metal armature. Strong though!
The print mash
Trolling through a box of magazines and newspapers we awere amazed at how many money related headlines there were. We had too much about money. The word tax was one of the most used words in the print material we looked at. Time was also mentioned in may different ways. Mashing the headlines to create our own warnings, political comment and satire was an intense, but enjoyable process, glueing everything on was painstakingly slow, one cough and all the pieces of print would blow about like feathers and we would scramble to put them all back were they were. We lost many words and phrases in the process no doubt they will turn up somewhere.
Dressing the heads
This proved challenging, our bush studio is miles from the nearest large town, so we had to mine our stored collection of prized artefacts, to dress the heads as the desired stereotypes. Many valued oddments made their way onto the mannequin heads. Darmin was a Clown Doctor in a previous incarnation so his valued and imported clown nose from the USA began the creation of one of the characters, his working stethoscope was glued onto the ears of the doctor archetype. Paris had a number of brainwaves and one face became a Picasso another an artist covered in blood.(See short animation of process). Attaching the heads to the clock was another construction headache (no pun intended) solved by a trip to our local Hardware store. Slowly the characters began to take shape and the final touch of red paint on the lips signified how each stereotype had become a prostitute to time.
Defacing the art
Scarey stuff! We both had envisaged the slogan "time is not art" scrawled across the clock-face, but if not placed well or any mistakes and it could ruin the whole piece. We practiced first to get the right size of letters, paint consistency and placement of drips. we wanted it to look as careless and angry as those midnight messages scrawled on the bare walls of our town, using a brush and paint,long before the days of the spray-can, messages like "If voting could change anything it would be made illegal", furtive, political,illegal.